Hello, and welcome to this week's edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:
- The 3 Salesforce "nightmares" that should keep Marc Benioff up at night
- GoPuff raised $1 billion then slashed worker pay
- Elon Musk vs Jeff Bezos vs Richard Branson: space race or space follies
I'm Insider Tech Features Editor Alexei Oreskovic, and I'm always eager to hear your thoughts, feedback and tips, so hit me up at [email protected]
This week: The Salesforce Nightmares
Salesforce made the tech world do a double-take this week when it announced plans to launch Salesforce+, a video streaming service with original content. The videos on Salesforce+ will likely be aimed at an office-worker audience, and designed to promote the company's tools rather than to win Emmys.
But since we're on the subject of plots, let's consider some "nightmare" scenarios relating to Salesforce's business. As Salesforce pushes forward on a mission to ring up $50 billion in revenue by 2025, and as it expands into new markets with its acquisition of Slack, the company will need to execute flawlessly on its gameplan - and be prepared for unexpected challenges. Here's how things could go wrong.
Read the full story here:
Don't be surprised if GoPuff, the convenience store delivery startup, becomes the next hot spot in the gig economy worker fight.
On July 30, GoPuff raised a hefty $1 billion of fresh funding. One week later it cut hourly pay for workers at its Philadelphia home base, in at least one case, by 30%. As you might expect that didn't go over well. Employees have started meeting with worker advocacy groups and there's talk of a work stoppage.
Venture capital firms and hedge funds have very different approaches to startup investing. There's no better illustration than Superhuman's recent $75 million funding round, in which the email startup raised cash from IVP, an elite Silicon Valley VC firm, and Tiger Global, the New York hedge fund that's plowing money into tech.
How different were the two investors? One of the investors committed to the deal in two months, the other did it in two days.
Bezos, Branson, and Musk - the space follies
Disney is getting closer to opening the doors to its very-cool looking Star Wars-themed hotel in Florida. But the company wants to avoid any misunderstandings - while the hotel is called the Galactic Starcruiser, Disney stresses that it's not an actual spaceship and guests will not be leaving the planet Earth.
- According to a job posting, SpaceX is looking for an experienced bartender who can pair drinks with a themed menu. The notion of a spaceport bar conjures visions of the famous Star Wars Cantina, where a seedy cast of characters imbibed glowing elixirs, listened to groovy music, and got into arm-severing fights - If Musk's saloon is anywhere near as cool, the mixologist job should be an exciting gig.
- And we might not be too far off from a bar brawl among Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson the three billionaire space moguls.
- With big rockets and big egos on the line, the trio are locked in an escalating war of words with each other that's left them blinded to what may be a more important issue: that the very notion of space tourism is an unnecessary producer of climate-warming emissions that will only make it harder to avert the environmental catastrophe outlined in this week's UN report.
And finally, something strange is afoot on the planet Mars. The NASA Perseverance rover drilled into the red planet's surface for the first time this month, carrying out a mission to collect rock samples for future analysis. But for reasons unclear, the sample of Martian soil has vanished.
There's probably a perfectly reasonable explanation, even if it sounds like the premise for a sci-fi thriller.
Not necessarily in tech:
The Insurrectionists in the Boardroom - Dozens of people who publicly supported radical right-wing efforts to overturn the 2020 election hold roles as federal appointees at places like the Kennedy Center and the Holocaust Memorial Council
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